Scanning my brain for suitable content

by Raymond Parker on November 2, 2011

in Health, Writing

Yesterday morning, I made light of my CT scan appointment. But attempts at humour can never bury the underlying apprehension that unwelcome results might bring—especially when you’re a two-time cancer survivor.

Thanks to those who tweeted back, wishing me well.

The scan was ordered in June, in response to a persistent sore throat, by the surgeon who saved me from my second run-in with the crab, in 2007, as described in Chapter 5 of my Paris-Brest-Paris story.

The procedure—not truly to look at my brain, but the claim lent itself to drollery—included the introduction of a liquid marker into a vein in my left arm, better to reveal small blood vessels and structures in my neck and head.

Things didn’t go according to plan. The fluid intended for my bloodstream ended up spraying around the room. Two tries and a soaked shirt later, the scan was complete. It’s now just a matter of waiting for the results, always a somewhat stressful interlude.

Perhaps it was partly the trepidation associated with this looming appointment that was responsible for my recent bloggus interruptus (did you miss me?). Whatever the reason, everything I’d prepared, on second reading, looked like crap. My muse had not so much deserted me, as withdrawn publishing rights.

Too bad some blogging blogs do not have such stern editors. While I was lost for words, I wandered again into one such domain, lured by promises of blogging bliss.

How many times can you re-cycle the “How to write a million dollar blog post” post? And who’d want to write in the “winning style” recommended in these tutorials?

Personally, if I wanted to expose myself to such bloodless prose, I’d read a computer manual.

At the risk of entering the realm I’ve proscribed, my advise to blocked writers is to be patient. Do something else. Certainly, you’ll get more inspiration out of a bicycle ride or staring into a cheery hearth than reading another bloody “how to blog” article.

Your life, if you live it fully, contains all the raw material you need to craft compelling stories. The only other thing you might find useful is a thesaurus and a style guide.

This is the sole advice I’d dare offer struggling bloggers. Of course, I’m not promising you can make a living at it.

By chance, yesterday was November 1st, otherwise known as the first day of “Movember,” the month during which men worldwide commune with their inner Tom Selleck, and face (with whiskers) the fear of prostate cancer together.

I’ve decided to revisit my moustachioed days for this good cause. You can help by donating to my account at Movember Canada. Simply click on the Donate To Me button and transfer funds generously. Cheers!

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of my “mo.” To get an idea what that might look like, check out a photo or two on this post.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

lee kenney November 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

I wish you well, lad! I also would recommend Martin Scorcese’s film “Living in the Material World, “George the quiet one’s story, A documentary on Warren Zevon ‘The Wind’ and finally revisit our buddy Frank. There is a thread there. P.S. Jeff Beck was worthy of guitar god status!


Raymond Parker November 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

I’m considering a Zappastache.


Anabelle November 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

Hope everything is well and the CT scan doesn’t uncover anything bad.

And yeah I agree with the bloodless blogging blogs thing… It’s always the same thing, in the end, and there’s nothing original or personal about them. I find that focusing on a theme or just letting my mind ramble on will give me more ideas than “How to find the million dollar topic”.

I’ll be following your “Mo” with interest! 🙂


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